Jan 15, 2019 | By Sarah Housley
Aug 29, 2017
Music festivals in 2017 go beyond just offering music. The festival consumer’s demand for highly visual, thought-provoking events has resulted in festivals working to deliver more. Yes, there are still the big name headliners that guarantee crowds and committed music super fans, but we’re now also seeing the rise of tech activations, such as those at Panorama Festival and the rise of holistic wellness festivals like Obonjan festival, which merges meditation, solar eclipse ceremonies, sound baths and yoga with tunes. We’re also seeing Instagram worthy event spaces, like the Museum of Ice Cream, the Museum of Feelings, Refinery29’s 29 rooms, and the Colorful Factory push the bar when it comes to providing ticketed must-visit, one -off events.
And this past weekend saw Afropunk Festival Brooklyn also experiment with offering more than just music. Alongside amazing headliners like Solange and SZA, and the festival’s SPINTHRIFT Market (showcasing fashion and craft-sellers) was a whole host of meaningful art activations.
There was The Met mobile art studio which was located next to the Red Stage, calling for festival goers to take a ‘creative pause’ and to create wearable art inspired by The Met’s collection.
— The Met (@metmuseum) August 27, 2017
Then there was a black female writers bookstore where you could buy the latest black authors, plus an entire Activism Row located near the Green Stage, with installations featuring grassroots and non-profit organizations working to support local communities and problem solve key issues such as access to resources and healthcare. And finally, a corner of the festival was dedicated to the lost lives of black trans people, with a candle to remember them by. These heartfelt spaces tied into the festival ethos of standing up and speaking out for everyone’s rights, working together to put an end to inequality.
All this goes to show that Afropunk Festival is so much more than just a music festival, it’s a comment on current affairs, a place of pride and an ever-evolving creative space.
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